Erin’s Hope for Friends is a non-profit organization on a mission to create lasting relationships through joyful interactions for HFAS teens & young adults.
“A friend loves at all times; a brother is born for adversity.” -Proverbs 17:17
The Story of Erin’s Hope for Friends
Darren and Stacy Horst’s 17-year-old daughter Erin was a gentle and talented girl who faced many challenges, primarily Asperger’s Syndrome. The couple lost their beloved daughter too soon, but aspire to allow Erin’s compassionate spirit to live on through charity.
The Horst family founded Erin’s Hope for Friends in Erin’s loving memory to help teens struggling with Asperger’s and other High Functioning Autism Spectrum (HFAS) disorders make meaningful and lasting social connections.
“If Erin had one really good friend she connected with, a friend she could do something with just one evening a week, it would have changed her whole life.”
Erin’s Hope for Friends believes that extending kids with HFAS and Asperger’s the opportunity to form friendships can do just that—change their lives.
Erin’s Hope for Friends is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity. By making a tax-deductible gift to Erin’s Hope for Friends you will positively impact the lives of many people. Regardless of the amount, every gift is greatly appreciated and will be used to offset the initial costs and ongoing expenses of our programs.
E’s Club is our primary means to help families, teens and young adults affected by Asperger’s Syndrome and other High Functioning Autism Spectrum disorders.
About High Functioning Autism Spectrum
High Functioning Autism Spectrum (HFAS) is a disorder that makes it very difficult to interact with other people. People suffering from HFAS may be socially awkward, make limited eye contact, seem unengaged in a conversation, and often do not understand common gestures and social cues.
Children with HFAS often find it challenging to make friends and this typically persists through the teen and young adult years.
While most teens and young adults place an emphasis on being cool, those with HFAS find it frustrating and emotionally draining to try to fit in. Like all of us, they long for friends, but often feel shy or intimidated when approaching their peers.
As a result, these intelligent and caring people are frequently misunderstood and 61% of them fall subject to bullying and social isolation. With depression rates and suicidal thoughts 50% higher in children with HFAS than the general population, this type of loneliness does immeasurable damage to their sense of self-worth and can take over their lives.
However, there is hope.